OneeChanbara: The Movie

aka Chanbara Beauty
Japan, 2008

Director: Yohei Fukuda
Starring: Ellie Otoguro, Chise Nakamura, Emi Hashimoto
IMDB: 5.7

With a title like 'Chanbara Beauty', combined with the fantastic cover art of a bikini babe in a cowboy hat menacingly wielding a katana, and knowing that there were zombies thrown into the mix - its not hard to see why I was looking forward to this one. It has all the elements of a superb modern exploitation flick.

Full marks to the writer and producers for bringing the concept to life. Unfortunately, the film itself is not as sexy and polished as the cover art would lead you to believe. This is obviously a low budget production ... and its noticeable in just about every aspect of the movie. Not to a huge degree - there's nothing really bad, but nothing top notch either.

This IS a b-movie after all, so lower your expectations accordingly. Unfortunately, the bar has been raised high by many Japanese movies in the last 10 years, where B-Movie themes have been treated to higher production values than you would reasonably expect.

What you do get is fit Japanese women (one in black leather, one as a schoolgirl, and the aforementioned cowboy hat bikini babe) despatching zombies with abandon. Add the requisite blood and splatter, some wirework swordplay battles, a fairly lame story, and cheesy (for the most part) special effects and that about sums it up.

Those who like this kind of thing know who you are! But what lets the film down most I think, for fans of the genre, is the occasional lapses into sentiment scattered throughout the film. They were boring and made the film drag. Let's face it, when you watch a film about bikini babes going to town on a rabid pack of zombies, you're kind of in it for the fun!

Instead of the sentiment, they would have been better off adding some much-needed humour and more nudity. Now THAT would've been killer.


Worth checking out for fans of Japanese exploitation cinema, just don't expect a masterpiece.
Rating: 5 / 10



Purchase Link

Chanbara Beauty

1 comment:

Ventilation Shaft said...

I absolutely loved "Oneechanbara"!

As for the effects, I thought they were quite cleverly done - making them cheap to make but cool looking at the same time, kinda anime-ish.

And the final battle scene, with all the teleporting, ki-blasts and such... like watching "Dragon Ball"!

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